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Mercy: Episode 1 - Greatness by David Avery - HTML preview

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Betty: Well good morning Dr. Branson.

The woman greeted cheerfully.

Tim: It’s so lovely to see you again Betty.

Tim’s warmness continued as the woman’s smile widened in a state of unbelieving.

Betty: Why thank you Dr. Branson. That’s nice of you to say. It’s lovely to see you too. I had wondered if you were gonna find time in your busy schedule to come down and greet me personally.

Tim: But of course I came down to greet you my dear. You are my favorite patient after all.

Betty: Oh that would be so sweet if I didn’t know you were lying. I’m sure you say that to all your patients.

Tim: Only you Betty, only you.

David couldn’t help but think to himself what a load of crap it was that Tim was feeding to Mrs. Peterson. It was sad to think that she might be fooled by his act, but the fact that she seemed to be right on quire with it, made him want to snicker He hid this however, deciding to keep himself from doing anything that might put him farther down on Dr. Branson’s hate list.

Tim: Anyways Betty before we get carried away with all the chitter chatter I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my surgical team.

Tim turned to the younger doctor, patting the top of David’s shoulder and speaking as though he were some type of great mentor.

Tim: This is Dr. Karter and he’s going to be assisting me during your surgery today.

David was caught off guard by Dr. Branson assertion that all of his other thoughts faded to gray. He was so excited by the idea of finally getting to join Dr. Branson in the OR that he even over looked the mistake that Tim had made in introducing him by the wrong name.

Betty: It’s nice to meet you young man. I’ve heard many things about you already from other members of the staff. I’m Betty Peterson and my husband is one of the board members here at Madison West.

David: It’s a pleasure to meet you as well Mrs. Peterson.

Betty: Thank you Dr. Kurt, but please call me Betty.

David: Betty it is then.

David agreed politely and stepped forward to put out his hand. Betty reached back, shaking the young surgeon’s hand. Then before either Betty or David could say anything further, Tim chimed back in and jumped right to business.

Tim: Alright Betty, we should go ahead and discuss the reason why the three of us are here. As you know you’re scheduled for surgery today at noon to repair the hernia in your lower abdomen. Now, Daniel here is gonna review your chart this morning and run some lab work. If all the labs come back in good shape then he’ll prep you for surgery and then I will fix the problem.

David was still far too excited to correct Dr. Branson on the mistakes in his name. Frankly he didn’t care what Dr. Branson called him as long as he was really going to finally get back into the operating room, which was something he felt was well deserved after putting up with Tim Branson for the last couple of months.

Betty: Well Dr. Branson, you two are running the show. I’ll just sit back and hope that the two of you know what you’re doing.

Tim: No need to worry Mrs. Peterson, Dr. Curtis and I are gonna take good care of you. Just sit tight for a bit while we step out into the hall. There are a couple of things I’d like to go over with this young pup before we get started.

Betty: Thank you Dr. Branson.

Tim: You betcha.

Dr. Branson continued with his fake cheer and smile. Then he turned to David.

Tim: Come on Champ; step out into the hall with me will you?

Tim then turned towards the door and started out of the room. Out of courteous respect, David gave the old woman one last smile and a nod to acknowledge his leaving. Then he turned and yet again obediently followed behind Tim Branson into the hall outside Betty Peterson’s room. As soon as the two of them were out of the room and far enough away that Betty could no longer hear them speak, Dr. Branson’s cheerful act melted away. He turned to David and with a close to evil tone as he dug into a one sided conversation.

Tim: This woman is one of my oldest patients and her husband is a member of the hospital board. If you screw this up, it’ll be both our asses on the line and I refuse to take the fall for any sort of rookie mistake. Now you are to treat this patient with extra special attention. I don’t care what she wants or what you have to do, you do it; kiss her ass if you have to but by god you keep her happy. Do you understand?

David, (Nodding) I got it. You have nothing to worry about. I’ll make sure she’s perfectly happy and comfortable while she’s here. By the time she’s gone, she won’t have a single complaint.

Tim: You better hope not or I’ll make sure that the next time you see an OR you’ll be the one on the table. If you come through for me on this today, you’ll be scrubbing in on her surgery and repairing the tear in her abdomen, but if you so much as make one single mistake today so help me I’ll make sure you spend your career changing bed pans and preforming rectal exams.

David didn’t for one minute believe the threats that Dr. Branson was making, and he didn’t so much as blink an eye. He simply waited for the older man to be finished. As he was almost done ranting at the younger surgeon, Tim pointed a finger the files that were still folded underneath David’s arm.

Tim: Now, you better read every inch of that chart twice before you lay a single finger on that woman, you got it?

David: (Nodding) Got it.

Tim: Get to work then. I want her prepped and ready for surgery by noon.

Without anything more to say Dr. Branson turned now and started in the opposite direction, leaving David standing in the hallway with Mrs. Peterson’s charts still folded under his arm…

 

 

 

Scene 11

Noah: So, what’d she say?

Noah asked as he came up to Avery just after Dr. Shaye had walked away. The doctor turned to around see the nurse and smiled proudly.

Avery: Well, she confirmed what you said about a heart coming in for the Henderson girl and then she told me that she wants me to perform the transplant surgery.

Noah: Are you kidding?

Noah smiled eagerly. He was now just as exceed about the surgery as Avery was.

Avery: Not at all. She even said that as of today, I’ll be running my own OR from now on.

Noah: Awesome, I guess it looks like the two of us will be scrubbing in together on this one since I’m gonna be your scrub nurse.

Avery: Yeah, it does look that way. Thanks for the tip by the way. I owe you one.

The surgeon admitted generously, causing the nurse to shake his head in recourse.

Noah: Nah don’t worry about that. I’m glad I could help.

Avery: Oh don’t be modest. I owe you one, big time. You’ll have to think up some way for me to thank you properly.

A confident grin moved across Noah’s cheeks at the wording in which Avery used. A bunch of naughty little thoughts had crept into his mind. He had met Avery Pryce for the first time just a couple months earlier and ever since he had harbored a bit of a crush on the doctor. Avery was just his type, blonde, and feisty.

Noah: Oh I could think up quite a few, but you should save your energy and just join me for a cup of coffee sometime.

Noah spoke flirtatiously. Avery shrugged his shoulders, oblivious to the fact that Noah was flirting with him.

Avery: Oh, well I don’t drink coffee. In fact I avoid as much caffeine as possible. It’s essentially a poison that wreaks havoc on the human body. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure that over time causes any number of cardiovascular diseases. It’s even a leading cause of gastrointestinal disorders and is linked to causes for cancer as well as a laundry list of emotional issues including but not limited to stress, anxiety, rage, irritability, and insomnia.

Noah narrowed his eyes in question at Avery who was now rambling like a nervous school boy. His attempt at asking the blonde out for a coffee date had faltered miserably. However, he was a little enchanted by what he thought was either nervousness or playing hard to get on Avery’s part.

Noah: Ok, ok!

Noah put his hand up to catch the doctor’s attention. He knew that without being distracted by something else, Avery would continue to ramble on about the effects of caffeine on the human body. He could be a little obsessive with facts like this.

Noah: How about you just give me a rain check then and we’ll call it all even for now.

Avery sighed as halted his yammering and then nodded his head to respond.

Avery: Sure, good idea. We should be getting to work right now anyways. I’m going to need you to get me the files for the Henderson girl. Dr. Shaye wants me to call the family and tell them the good news.

Noah: Alright, I’ll go grab those and then you can go ahead and give them that phone call that they’ve been waiting so long for.

Avery smiled at Noah’s helpful suggestion and again nodded his head.

Avery: Thanks Noah.

Noah: No problem. I’ll see you in a few minutes with those files…

 

 

 

 

Scene 12

Andrew entered the master bedroom of the Johnson home after following Officer Murphy’s directions up the stairs. Clara Johnson and Officer Jane Cooper were waiting for him patiently, both sitting on the edge of the bed. Clara was the wife half of the domestic disturbance call that he and Marcum had been called out to and Jane was one of the officers that worked for Mercy Police Department. Andrew had run into Officer Cooper quite a few times since he had joined Mercy Fire Department as a medic. She was called quite often to assist on calls and cases involving battered women. As far as cops went she was pretty good at her job, but Andrew certainly wasn’t her biggest fan. She was a regular, man hating pain in the ass. She was a short haired, boyish looking woman,. He figured she was probably a lesbian, which added to his reasons for disliking her. As if it wasn’t bad enough that she was female, she had to add dyke to the list as well. Clara was a young dark haired brunette with a slender figure and dark complexion. She would have been semi attractive if her face hadn’t been wearing the bruises from that mornings beating, something that even Andrew took notice to.

The young wife was sitting on the edge of the bed when Andrew came in. She was dabbing her eyes with a tissue while the officer was sitting beside her. Jane had one hand on the top of the woman’s knee and was trying to comfort the woman whose emotional state was evident by tear stained cheeks. The medic waited impatiently for the women to put their attention on him. He hid his edginess, knowing that it wasn’t proper.

Jane turned her attention to the paramedic after he had been standing in the door for a couple of minutes. She smiled at him politely and then turned back to Clara.

Jane: Ok Clara, I need to get out of the way so that the paramedic can come in and take a look at you.

Jane spoke calmly, trying to be soft and caring with Clara.

Clara: Are you leaving?

Clara sobbed. Between the crying and the speaking it sounded as though she was trying to come up for air. Jane shook her head at the woman’s question.

Jane: I don’t have to. I can stay in the room if you’d like.

Clara: No, that’s ok.

Clara shook her head, her voice coming out a little stronger now.

Clara: As long as my husband doesn’t come back in here, I don’t care who else does.

Jane: Ok. I’ll just step outside into the hallway. If you need me to come back in here for anything, and I mean anything at all don’t hesitate to call me back in.

Clara: Thank you officer Cooper, but I’ll be just fine.

Jane stood up from the bed where she had been sitting next to Clara. Then she started out of the room. Before stepping out the door she paused to speak with Andrew.

Jane: Take it easy on her Andrew. She’s been through enough today and doesn’t deserve anymore male bullshit.

Andrew sighed with annoyance at the demanding bitch in front of him.

Despite his dislike for Jane Cooper, Andrew made it a point to stay civil with her. He had to act professional while he was on the job, and going off on some ball busting dyke wasn’t exactly the way to do that. It was for this reason that he ignored the jab that Jane was trying toss his way.

Andrew: Don’t bust my balls today Jane. I know the routine, so get out of my way and let me do my job.

Jane stepped aside and let Andrew pass by her without saying another word. She walked out of the room and stood just outside the door just in case Clara decided to call her back in again. It wouldn’t have much mattered though if she was two inches away or ten thousand feet away, Andrew didn’t even notice she was there. His attention span didn’t last long enough to give a bit of damn.

Andrew made his way over to Clara, keeping his distance for a moment to respect her space. He looked down at the woman and smiled. He talked to her in a soft toned voice.

Andrew recalled the name that Jane had used earlier when speaking to the other woman. Clara nodded her head, sobbing just slightly as she tried to compose herself.

Clara: Yes, that’s right.

Andrew: Is it ok to call you by your name then?

Clara: I don’t mind.

Clara shook her head. Andrew nodded back and then introduced himself.

Andrew: Alright well, I’m Andrew. I’m one of the paramedics that came out here to take a look at your injuries and see if there’s any need to take you to the hospital.

Clara: I understand. I’ve been through this all before. Do you mind if we just get started so I can get this all over with?

Andrew: That works for me.

Andrew answered, setting down his pack of supplies and then kneeling down to open it up. He had already glanced over Clara’s face and assessed most of the visible injuries. Clara’s left eye was blackened and there were three decent sized scrapes above the right one. They were already starting to scab over and were no longer bleeding. Both of these injuries were minor and needed very little medical attention, but what Andrew was mostly concerned about was possible broken bones, both in her face and other areas as well. He could tell that this woman had taken some pretty hard hits and from experience he expected that there were other places she was hit as well.

Clara: I know what you’re thinking.

Clara said as Andrew was digging into his supply pack. Andrew turned his eyes back up to the woman.

Andrew: Yeah, and what would that be?

Clara: You’re probably thinking that I must be stupid, that I’ll probably just go back to him again even after all this.

Andrew: You got me there. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Actually I was thinking even worse than that.

Clara, Oh yeah, what’s worse than that?

Andrew: Well I was just thinking to myself that it’s a shame, a waste even.

Clara: A waste?

Andrew: Come on lady, you’re smart enough to know how all of this goes. You even said you’ve been through all of this before. You two will get patched up, you’ll get sent home, he’ll get sent to jail, and within a half hour of leaving the hospital you’ll be bailing his ass out.

Clara: You really think that I’ll do that?

Andrew: It happens nine times out of ten. You wouldn’t be the first chick to do it and you won’t be the last.

Clara: You must get these kinds of calls a lot then if you know that.

Andrew: I get em more than I’d like to that’s for sure. It’s a waste of god damned time if you ask me

Clara: If it’s a waste of your time then why are you here?

Andrew: Well it’s my job. I don’t get to choose the calls I take. I just answer the ones I’m sent to I got into this business to save lives. There are too many people out there every day getting hurt, good people, people who don’t deserve it. The job means something when you’re making a difference to people that are gonna have a new lease on life when they pull through whatever tragedy had befallen them that day. But with women like you, it’s only a matter of time before we’ve gotta come back out and do this all over again. The sad part is that when it does happen again, it’ll be because you let it.

Clara: You think that all of this is my fault?

Andrew: (Shook his head) No ma’am I don’t, not this time at least, but the next time, and the time after that, you bet your ass I will. I mean think about it Clara. Think about all those little kids out there who are taking punches like this from their parents. Think about how they can’t walk away from their abusers. Then there’s you, a grown ass woman who is perfectly capable of walking out at any time. Think about the fact that you saw all the warning signs, had the chance to get out, and never did. Then tell me that the next time wasn’t your fault.

Clara: It’s not easy you know. Walking away isn’t easy. I know it seems crazy to love him, but I do. I love Jimmy. No matter what he does or what he says, I still love him.

Andrew: Oh come on Clara, what was it you were arguing about this time? What did you do to piss him off so bad that he tried to break your face?

Clara: It was so stupid.

Clara sighed and shook her head, but Andrew persisted.

Andrew: I bet it was, but don’t hold back now, what was it?

Clara: Jimmy comes home every morning at seven. He works the night shift at the cannery. I’m supposed to have his breakfast on the table when he gets home so that he can eat and then head off to bed, but I went to bed so late last night that I slept in. I pushed the snooze button on my alarm a few times too many and didn’t wake up in time.

Andrew: When you love someone you don’t wanna hurt em. You do everything in your power to make sure that they’re safe. You don’t leave em bruised and bleeding over something as stupid as a late breakfast.

Clara: I guess that’s just what love gets you then. You love someone and it turns into this.

Clara said and she pointed to her eyes. Andrew sighed and nodded his head.

Andrew: Yeah well you better get used to it honey, especially since this won’t be the last time. Heck if I were you I’d just be happy he didn’t kill me this time. Next time you might not be as lucky.

Clara: Ok, so since you’ve got it all figured out and you seem to be so wise, what happens if I don’t allow him to do this again? What happens if I press charges on Jimmy?

Andrew: Well, if you press charges and you don’t back out or change your mind, the chances of him ever doing this again are at least slimmer. You have to want it though. You have taken the steps to separate your life from his. You’ve gotta be the one to walk away and never look back.

Clara: Do you think I can do that? Do you think I’ll be strong enough to walk away and never look back?

Andrew: (Shaking his head) No, I don’t. I think you’ll need help and that even with that help you’ll be too weak to let him go.

Clara glared now at Andrew, anger crept up into her face and she shook her head.

Clara: I think you’re wrong.

Andrew: Ma’am I hope I am. Now keep quiet long enough for me to help you out ok. I don’t need you to waste anymore more of my time than you already have.

Clara did exactly what Andrew had just asked of her, she stopped talking. As soon as she was quiet he turned back to his supply pack and grabbed a couple of the things he needed to help her clean up the wounds on her face…

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 13

The September morning air was cold and breezy when Avery stepped onto the roof of Mercy Medical Hospital in search of Dr. Shaye. Anna looked over to see Avery joining her on the roof and smiled with excitement as he approached her.

Anna: So, how did the Henderson family react when you told them the good news?

Avery: They were excited. They said they would get here as soon as possible and that they were only about fifteen minutes away.

Anna: I bet you’re just as excited aren’t you Dr. Pryce? Excited to be getting to take charge on your first solo heart transplant.

Avery: I’m very excited Dr. Shaye.

Anna: Great and it looks like the heart is here now too.

Anna pointed to the sky. Avery followed the direction in which the female surgeon was pointing. In the distance he could see the helicopter that was coming towards them. His own heart was jumping in his chest at the excitement of the task that lay before him. It was moments like this, days like this that Avery had been waiting for from the moment he had decided to become a cardio surgeon. Now, twenty years later and here he was, about to be part of saving a young girl’s life. In spite of all the science that stood behind the process, to Avery it all felt like some kind of magic…

 

 

 

 

Scene 14

David walked up to the nurses’ station that was just outside of Betty Peterson’s hospital room.

Sunny: Hey there Green Eyes.

A long haired blond woman greeted with a big bright smile. She had been standing at the counter when David walked over.

David smiled back at the nickname she had called him. It was something he had grown used to over many years.

David: Hey Sunny.

Sunny: You got something for me to do Green Eyes?

David blushed when Sunny said his nickname a second time. It was something that she called him on account of his emerald green eyes. She loved those eyes and made it a point to remind him every time she called him Green Eyes.

David: Yeah hon I need you to check on Mrs. Peterson’s lab orders. I sent them down an hour ago and they haven’t gotten back to me yet.

Sunny: (Nodding) Sure. Just give me a few minutes. I’ve gotta run some pain meds over to room 406 for Dr. Wyatt.

David: Cool, thanks hon.

Sunny: No problem.

Sunny and David had been friends for a long time, since they were both in grammar school even. She had lived down the street from him from all the years that the two of them were growing up. In high school she had been both his best friend and for a short time she was even his girlfriend.

David: How you doing by the way?

David asked, instead of walking away to get back to work. He could see exhaustion in Sunny’s face. He knew that she had been taking on extra shifts lately. Sunny was one of the nurses at Madison West. Since she primarily worked with surgical patients she and David saw a lot of one another.

Sunny: Not bad in spite of being exhausted as hell from pulling sixteen hour shifts for three days in a row just this week.

David: Yeah, I heard from Charley that you’ve been asking for extra shifts since he lost his job.

Sunny: A couple of gals quit last week so now we’re down a couple of nurses in the surgical department, so I’m helping the hospital out. It’s only temporary. Charley and I need the money anyways.

David: I understand. I also know that my brother’s gonna get another job real soon. You two are gonna be ok.

David said revealing another connection between Sunny and himself. She was not only a longtime friend to him, but also his sister-in-law.

Sunny: Thanks Sweetie.

David: Sure, and you know that if you need it, I’m always here to help you guys out. You’re family after all.

Charley was David’s older brother by three years. He and Sunny had gotten married not long after her and David had graduated high school. They had been married for years. While David and his brother weren’t all that close; David and Sunny were like best friends.

Sunny: David you’re sweet, but I’ve gotta get back to work. I’ll run those meds over to 406 and stop by the lab on the way back.

David: Ok, see you in few.

Sunny: Yeah, see you.

Sunny walked away from the nurses’ station now, on her way to pass the meds that she had just mentioned…

 

 

 

 

Scene 15

Andrew: Hey there little brother.

Andrew greeted loudly as he walked the break lounge on the first floor of MMH (Mercy Medical Hospital). Each floor had its own lounge and all of them had fully stocked coffee carts that were complimentary to the staff as well as patients and other visitors. Avery was standing by the coffee cart when Andrew entered.

Avery: Why do you insist on calling me little brother?

Avery groaned with annoyance as he turned around to see his twin brother enter the room. The two brothers were meant to be identical, but aside from matching genes there wasn’t much about them that was even remotely similar.

Avery: I’m only like fourteen minutes younger than you are.

Andrew smirked as he reached the place where Avery was standing.

Andrew: Hey now, that’s fourteen whole minutes and that difference in time is the reason you and I don’t share the same birthday.

This fact that Andrew had just muttered was true. He and Avery had been born far enough apart that the two of them had separate birthdays and even zodiac signs. Their mother had always told them that this was the reason for all their differences in persona.

Physically, both of them were equally attractive in their own right. They had matching blue eyes, boyish smiles, and the same quick to blush cheeks. Their hair, though kept at different lengths was the same sandy blonde color. Avery kept his cut down to his ears and on most occasions Andrew kept his buzzed down to nearly nothing.

Stature wise the Pryce brothers had quite a few alterations. Andrew was 6ft, a whole two inches taller than Avery and had a muscularly toned build at 170lbs. All the extra time that he spent at the gym accounted for the large difference in muscle mass between him and his twin. Avery was easily 20lbs lighter than Andrew if not more. He was slender and looked as though he could blow away in the wind. He kept fit by running nearly every single day and his slenderness proved it.

Avery: Whatever Asshole.

Avery rolled his eyes, something he did quite often. So often in fact that Andrew never even noticed it anymore.

Avery: What you doing here anyways?

Avery questioned as he had just finished preparing a cup of green tea. Now he had turned most of his attention towards Andrew.

Andrew: Marcum and I just brought a chick into the ER who had a bunch of bruises and shit. Her husband is a real shithole and laid into her pretty hard.

Avery: Is the woman gonna be ok?

Avery displayed a moment of concern for the stranger that Andrew was speaking of.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s all just superficial wounds, minus the emotional trauma at least. I don’t think she’s got any real broken bones or nothing.

Andrew reached out to grab a cup for some coffee. Avery was only really half listening to his brother by now. He was too excited about the heart transplant that he was gonna preform today to really care about anything else.

Andrew: They’ll probably just check her out and send her home after she talks to one of the social workers.

Andrew continued on, now pouring himself a cup of black coffee and talking a mile a minute.

Andrew: I have a feeling about this chick though. I mean I wouldn’t bet money on it or nothing, but I think with a little motivation she could totally walk away from this guy.

Andrew paused momentarily in his yammering long enough to take a sip from the coffee he had just poured. Without skipping a beat he went right back to talking.

Andrew: Of course, like I said, she’s gonna need the motivation. I think I helped her out in that department. I must have looked like a total prick to her with most the shit I said; telling her I thought she was too weak and that patching her up today was a waste of my time.

Avery: Nice Asshole, real nice. What are you gonna do next, head up to the pediatric wards and tell all the sick kids the truth about Santa?

Avery piped up with sarcasm and the last portion of his brother’s story. He knew that his brother wasn’t the type to sugar coat anything though. He had a motto that basically left him believing that no matter whose feelings it hurt the truth was always the best route to take. Avery had always believed in a gentler approach, especially with patients.

Other than some physical details the only real thing that the two of them had in common was the fact that they were both gay. However, even the way that the twins exhibited their orientation was different. Avery was effeminate, which was quite the opposite of his brother who was so predominantly masculine acting that most people didn’t even know he was gay until it was mentioned and even then they were shocked by the information. Andrew could pass for straight in any crowd, but Avery could not. It was clear in the way he walked and talked that he was a little more of the stereotype that most gay men were assumed to represent.

Andrew: Haha, very funny.

Andrew fake laughed at Avery’s sarcasm.

Andrew: I think it’s just what the woman needed to hear though. I think it pissed her off enough to fire her up.

Avery: I hope so, but don’t say any more. I gotta go.

Avery said as he turned and started towards the door of the break lounge with the green tea he had made. Andrew followed with his eyes and a searching stare.

Andrew: Dude, you’re leaving already? I haven’t even done anything to piss you off yet.

Avery turned back to his brother, pausing in his stride. He shook his head and he replied.

Avery: I can’t stay. I’m the lead surgeon on a heart transplant today and Dr. Shaye is waiting on me. I gotta get back upstairs to greet the family of the kid that’s getting the heart.

Andrew: Nice bro, good luck then.

Andrew eased up, knowing exactly how important this surgery was for his twin and what it meant for his surgical career.

Avery: Yeah, thanks. I’ll catch up with you later right?

Andrew: Yeah you know it.

Avery finally stepped out of the room. Andrew began to poor himself another cup of coffee after his brother had left. Only a moment after he had refilled his cup and took the first sip, Marcum entered the room.

Marcum: Come Andrew, we got another call, we’ve gotta go.

Andrew: Alright then, let’s get outta here.

Andrew started towards the door. He met up with Marcum in passing and then the two of them started out together…

Scene 16

David: Mrs. Peterson I’ve got good news for you. I just got your lab work back.

David announced upon entering the woman’s hospital room to prep her for surgery. Betty was flipping through channels on the TV. She stopped, switching it off with the remote as she turned her attention to the young doctor.

Betty: Good news? That must mean that I don’t need surgery after all and that I get to go home.

Betty joked. David grinned at the old woman’s humor as he stepped over to the side of her bed.

David: Well unfortunately you don’t get to go home, but you will get to have surgery right on schedule today.

Betty: That’s the upside to it I suppose.

Betty grumbled, unimpressed by the news.

David: I know it must not be fun to be here Mrs. Peterson, but I read you chart and it seems like you’ve been in pain for quite a while. Just think of how much better you’re gonna feel once it’s taken care of?

Betty: I certainly hope I do feel better, but I’ll just have to take your word for it on this one Dr. Kurt.

David smiled at Betty, noticing that she had managed to get his name right even after Dr. Branson had introduced him incorrectly earlier that day.

David: Hey you actually called me Dr. Kurt.

Betty: That is what’s on your name badge isn’t it?

Betty pointed to the name badge that David was wearing. David glanced down at the badge and then back up to Mrs. Peterson.

David: It is, but after the way that Dr. Branson introduced me earlier I was certain you were gonna be calling me something else.

Betty: I knew exactly what your name was even before Dr. Branson had introduced you this morning. My husband is a member of the board you know. There’s a lot of talk around these halls when it comes to you.

David: Is that so?

David was curious to know what types of things people had to say about him.

Betty: Oh yeah, a lot of good stuff too. In fact I’ve heard that you’re a remarkable surgeon, top of your class even.

David: At least you heard the truth then.

Betty: Well, I also heard that you spent a few years in Iraq as a trauma surgeon and that you even worked at one of the VA hospitals before coming here. I bet all that has really taught you to think on your toes.

David: Wow, you seem to know a lot about me.

David was a little surprised, but not by much. It wasn’t unusual to hear a lot of gossip throughout the halls of a hospital.

Betty: You were injured while you were overseas, weren’t you?

David: Yes, I was injured, but it’s not something I talk about much.

David sighed at Betty’s question. He was sure that Betty must have heard the stories all through rumors. It wasn’t often that he spoke with people about his time in the army, especially his time in Iraq and the injuries that he sustained.

Betty: Why wouldn’t you want to talk about something so remarkable? You nearly lost your ability to perform surgery and yet here you are as healthy as can be and right back to surgery. With all your skills, I’d be singing it to the world.

David: It would be a lot more meaningful if I were actually using the skills.

Betty narrowed her eyes at David. She had sensed that his tone of voice was unenthused.

Betty reached her hand out to place it on the top of David’s arm. Then she spoke in a soft, matter of fact tone.

Betty: I know that Dr. Branson is a pompous ass. You sure did get the raw end of the deal having him as your mentor, but if you just hang in there everything will work out in your favor. Even if he doesn’t, someone around here is bound to see that potential that everybody’s been talking about.

David laughed, mostly from having heard Mrs. Peterson call Dr. Branson a pompous ass. Earlier he had thought that Betty was fooled by Tim’s fake charm. It was a pleasure to see that the woman was no true fool.

David: Thank you Mrs. Peterson. I appreciate you saying that but unfortunately sucking up to the doctor isn’t gonna get you out of surgery today.

It was David’s turn for a bit of humor. The old woman laughed back and nodded her head, understanding his wit. David was happy to see that he could get her to laugh.

Betty: Speaking of my surgery, what is it that you’ve gotta do to get me ready?

David: Well, everything in your labs all came back in normal range. Now I’ve just gotta get your vitals and if everything checks out, one of the nurses will come down to take you up to the operating room.

Matt: It looks like I showed up just in time then.

A voice chimed up from behind David. He turned around to see who was speaking. He saw a man standing in the doorway of Betty’s room. The man was attractive and seemed to be in his early twenties. David looked upon the stranger with confusion. Then he heard Betty speak up with excitement.

Betty: Matthew, you made it.

Matt: Of course I made it. You mentioned on the phone the other night that you were having surgery today and we both know how busy dad is. I wasn’t gonna let my mother go under the knife all by herself.

Betty: Well get over here and give your mother a hug then. I’m so happy you’re here.

Betty held her arms open. Matthew crossed the room and hugged his mother as she had asked for. David waited patiently for them to finish.

Betty: Matt this is Dr. Kurt. He’s gonna be assisting Dr. Branson with the surgery this afternoon.

Betty went on to introduce her son after their embrace had ended. Matt waited for his mother to finish speaking.

Betty: Dr. Kurt, I’d like you to meet my son Matthew.

David: It’s nice to meet you.

David and Matthew both reached out their hands now and shook to accept the woman’s introductions.

Matt: Likewise, and please I didn’t mean to be rude and interrupt you before. Please don’t delay whatever it is you were about to say or do before I came in.

David: Oh I was just telling your mother that I need to check her vitals before I can prep her for surgery.

Matt: That’s fine. I’ll just take a seat over here and get out of your way then.

Matt stepped aside now and crossed the room to take a seat in one of the visitors’ chairs. As soon as he was out of the way David was ready to begin checking the woman’s vitals. He stepped closer to her, pulling a stethoscope down from around the back of his neck. Matt watched quietly as Dr. Kurt began checking vitals on his mother…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 17

...

Avery followed Dr. Shaye into one of the patient rooms on the surgical floor of MMH. As they entered the room a ten year old, dark skinned girl was waiting for them with her parents. Her mother, Nancy was sitting in a chair at the child’s bedside, holding the little girl’s hand when the surgeons entered the room. She looked up immediately to see them.

Nancy: Dr. Shaye.

Dirk, the child’s father, who had been pacing, stopped abruptly as he heard Nancy announced the presence of the two doctors.

Anna: Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, it’s great that the two of you were able to get here so quickly.

Anna’s voice was packed full of thrill as she skipped past greeting the family to save a bit of time.

Dirk: Dr. Shaye, is this all real? Is my little girl really gonna get a new heart today?

Anna: (Nodding) its real Mr. Henderson. Molly will be getting a new heart today, but we’re going to move quickly. I don’t have a lot of time to explain the procedure. If one of you could step out into the hall and discuss all of that with me, Dr. Pryce can get started checking Molly’s vitals. We’ll get this all going a lot faster if we get both tasks done at once.

Nancy turned to her husband, trying not to cry from the joy of the good news.

Nancy: Dirk why don’t you take care of all that. I’ll stay with Molly.

Dirk: Alright sweetheart. I’ll be right back.

Dirk stepped over to his wife who was still seated in a chair beside the hospital bed where their daughter was sitting. He bent down and gently kissed the top of his wife’s forehead and then leaned over to kiss Molly’s as well.

Dirk: Be good for the doctor and let him check you out ok? Daddy will be right back.

Molly: Yes daddy.

The child replied in a weak, out of breath sounding voice. Her father smiled.

Dirk: I love you.

Molly: I love you too daddy.

Dirk turned away from the bed and started over to Anna. Then he followed her out of the room while Avery stayed with the mother and child.

Avery: Hey Molly.

Avery greeted the little girl as he stepped over towards her hospital bed.

Molly: Hi.

The girl looked up to him and greeted back.

Avery: You remember me don’t you?

Molly: (Nodding) you’re Dr. Pryce. You’re the one that brought me ice cream the last time I was here.

Avery: That’s right, you do remember.

Nancy: Molly really likes you.

Nancy added to the conversation as she reached out and ran her hand over the girl’s head, pushing a few loose strands of hair back.

Nancy: She was so sick last time we were here and was still going on and on about how nice you were to her.

Nancy was a tired looking woman. Her complexion was faded and graying, her eyes wrinkled. The wear and tear of caring for a sick child was abundant in her appearance. She had her black hair tied back in a messy bun and was wearing what seemed to be a pair of faded pajamas, proving that getting her daughter to the hospital had been her top priority that morning. Avery knew that the woman must have come straight to the hospital after he had called her.

Avery: Well I’m happy to hear that she’s taken a liking to me, but if all goes well today then the next time we meet Molly won’t be so sick.

Nancy: Gosh that would be so nice.

Molly: Does that mean that I can’t come visit you anymore Dr. Pryce?

Avery: It’s doesn’t mean that you can’t.

Avery shook his head at the little girl as he was pulling a stethoscope from his lab coat pocket.

Avery: It just means that you won’t have to. You’ll always be able to come back and see me, as long as it’s ok with your parents that is.

Molly turned her eyes to her mother, and flashed the woman a begging expression.

Molly: Mom can I? Can I come back to visit Dr. Pryce even when I’m better?

Nancy: Of course you can baby, but let’s get you all better first.

Avery: I think you’re mother has a good plan there.

Avery jumped in as he was putting the ear pieces of the stethoscope into his ears.

Avery: Let’s get your vitals finished up so that we can get you that new heart today. After that, you can start telling your parents all the things you want to do once you’re well again.

Molly: I have a long list for that Dr. Pryce.

Avery: Then we better started. The quicker you get that new heart, the quicker you can start on that list…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 18

Dirk Henderson followed Anna Shaye into the hallway outside of his daughter’s hospital room. The doctor turned around to face him as soon as they were in a place where they could talk. As she turned to the man she could see his nervousness

Anna: Are you ok Mr. Henderson?

Dirk: I’ll be ok Dr. Shaye. My main concern today is Molly. I’m just so worried about her. Is it normal to be both worried and excited about this?

Anna: It’s absolutely normal Mr. Henderson.

Anna confirmed, understanding the feelings that the man was experiencing. While she had never gone through anything like this personally, she had seen it many times with patients and their families.

Molly’s gonna be just fine. Dr. Pryce is a great surgeon and he’s gonna be the one replacing your daughter’s old heart for her new one.

Dirk: Nancy and I are exhausted Dr. Shaye. We both love our daughter more than anything and that love is the reason why everything else in our lives has been put on hold for nearly three years now. We’ve been waiting for this day ever since we brought Molly home. From the day we adopted her we’ve known that without a transplant we would never truly get to enjoy our little girl. We were starting to give up hope that this day would ever come, so you’ll have to forgive me. I’m still in a state of disbelief.

Dirk Henderson was quite anxious in saying this. While he wasn’t quite as exhausted in appearance as his spouse, the evidence was still there in the man’s graying hair and pale flesh. He was dressed in a suit and tie, business type attire. Anna knew that he must have been at work when he got the news about the heart. He had dropped everything else that he was doing that day just to be here now with his family. Anna admired such dedication. In her years as a surgeon she had seen parents of all types. Parents like the Henderson’s, ones that put their children above themselves were the ones she admired the most.